Category Archives: Uncategorized

Using micro climates

It’s important to realise that plants rely heavily on humidity. Their roots draw water and nutrients up from the soil to the leaves. Evaporation of the water at the leaves, creates the suction for more water to be drawn up from the roots. If it’s humid, the water evaporation rate drops and the plant gets […]

Symbiotic relationships and fertility – Fungi.

With the boom in plantation forestry, silvaculturists noticed that some trees grew well in some areas but not in others, even though the soils were identical. Chemical analysis couldn’t explain the difference. Finally it was discovered that a fungi, at the time dubbed mycorrhiza, was causing the difference. It was colonising the root tips and […]

Fertility and the NPK group – Phosphorus

Phosphorus is usually associated with root growth. Plants grown in soils deficient in Phosphorus are usually stunted. Adding phosphate fertilisers to new plants is a common practise that produces rapid lush growth, however it does not increase the final yield in many cases. For this reason grazier farmers add superphosphate (or super as it is […]

Soil – Simple testing – the dry test

To test your soil for structure: the dry test dig a small area and remove any plant material. Turn it over and water it lightly tonight. Tomorrow about midday, dig down until it feels moist. Remove a fist full and squeeze it together in your hand.It should stay in a clump, not ooze out between […]

The best soil ?

Different soil structures favour different plants but here’s a rough overview. Root crops like carrots, swedes, turnips and beets all require sandy “open” soils. They have adapted to sending long tap roots down to find water. These tap roots store water and nutrients and fatten up into the vegetables we see in the shop. Carrots […]

Lawn – think ahead.

Without getting too scientific, from a gardener’s point of view, there are basically two types of lawn grasses: Layering grasses – these grasses spread by sending runners out in all directions. These runners will drop roots down and send shoots upwards, seeking light. Because the runners are underground, they are more resistant to heat, making […]

Mixing your own concrete

There’s a few instances where it is not practical to buy ready mixed concrete. Don’t panic, concrete can easily be mixed on site. In many modern day homes, we have a shared wall between one house and the next, which means often there is no access to the rear yard for a vehicle to deliver […]

Adding reinforcing to concrete.

There are two ways to add reinforcing to your path. They are both very simple: lay it flat onto the stone chip base, pour the concrete then hook the mesh up off the stone so it’s in the middle of the concrete. Lay the mesh on supports so it is clear of the stone base […]

Concrete ramps and steps

We have looked at pouring a concrete path both straight and curved but what about a path that changes up or down a level? The best option is usually a sloping ramp – there’s nothing to trip over when you have your arms full and cannot see your feet. Just make sure it has a […]

The most enjable way to control slugs

On any new block, you are going to experience waves of different insects as you establish a new ecosystem. One of the most annoying is slugs and snails. An effective and simple method of controlling these pests is to use snail pellets but if you have pets or small children, who may swallow these, this […]